Thursday, February 2, 2017

Yay! I Finished Reading Another Book - "My Life Is A Situation Comedy" by Bill Persky

Hey!  This guy stole the title of my book!

Well, not really.  And frankly, there are likely millions of us out there who would name our memoirs the same thing.  Because, after all, our lives are so damn funny.

I was attracted to this book not by the title but the author.  Bill Persky, who with his partner Sam Denoff, wrote one of the best sitcom episodes ever produced...the "Coast to Coast Big Mouth" installment of the old Dick Van Dyke Show.   That script is perfect in every way.  Not to single that out, Persky, still around in his 90s, had an amazing career of other stuff, too, as a writer, director, and producer.   Try "That Girl" with Marlo Thomas.  And "Kate and Allie" with Jane Curtin and Susan Saint James.   There are others too numerous to mention.

Now, if you pick up Persky's book to get a lot of juicy anecdotes about all those shows and stars, forget it.  He actually refers to them almost as after-thoughts.   So, given that, your interest in reading this might wane.

Don't let that happen.  Because, even without the TV tidbits, this book is damn funny.  Persky lays out all the private details of his life over 90 years in literary Jello shots of memories.   All of them hilarious.   His tales about childhood, marriage (there were several of them), parenting, computer technology, the inability to maintain passwords (my favorite chapter), and life in general and specifics keep you glued to the page.   Admittedly, books like this are a fast read.  This one blew by like Rickey Henderson on his way to second base.

Okay, so I'm not included in this book.  But I might have been because there was a brush, albeit a fine toothed one, with the author himself who now resides in New York City.  Way back when my writing partner and I were working with Linda Ellerbee's production company to create a kids sitcom, there was an acknowledgement that we needed a veteran writer to help these two neophytes through the process.  I remember the words in one meeting.

"We'll just call Bill Persky and get him involved with you."

Um, okay.  And since some Dick Van Dyke episodes were constantly being rerun in my house, I sure knew who he was.   And we thought how freaking privileged we would be to get help from him on this.

Well, the show never happened...dying twice at two different networks.   So there was no need to call Bill Persky in.  Too bad.  We might have been Chapter 23.

Dinner last night:   Leftover Hawaiian chicken and vegetables.

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